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Legislature Urges Congress to Enact Assault Weapons Ban

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Legislature Urges Congress to Enact Assault Weapons Ban

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

The Legislature, by a vote of 12-1 (Legislator Mike Sigler voted no; Legislator Glenn Morey was excused) urged the U.S. Congress to immediately enact a law that mirrors provisions of the Assault Weapons Ban of 2017, as introduced in the United States Senate, which prohibits the sale of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.  The prior federal assault weapons ban, enacted in 1994, expired ten years later and was not renewed by Congress.  The resolution notes that assault weapons may now be legally sold and purchased in many states, and that the incidence of mass shootings in schools, churches, and other public places has increased, involving once-banned assault-style weapons and high-volume magazine, including February’s mass-shooting at Parkland, Florida’s Marjory Stoneham Douglas High School, which killed 17 innocent people, the deadliest school shooting since 2012.  The measure maintains that “assault-style weapons and large capacity ammunition magazines are not suitable for civilian use of any type and constitute a demonstrated threat to the general public and law enforcement personnel.”

Legislator Sigler said it’s misdirected to seek a ban, that legislation was brought up after the shootings in Sandy Hook, and failed, and he sees that since then nothing has changed:  “We want to reduce gun violence in this country; you need to bring people to the table.”—reclassification of certain types of weapons would be better, he said.  Public Safety Committee Chair Rich John said that he agrees that a national conversation that would speak across the divide would be helpful, but that this resolution is a place to start.  Legislator Henry Granison, who drafted the resolution, remarked that the resolution is a way to make a statement about the Legislature’s views on the issue and “to express what we stand for.”  Legislator Anna Kelles said, “The youth in our country have come out in droves and asked us to do something….I think that it’s time,” and added that the County’s resolution may be used as a model for other interested counties to follow.